Category Archives: home

3 in 30 Week 8 Update

Well, today is the final February update for my 3 in 30 progress. Here’s where I stand.

Memorize James Chapter 1

I did not keep this goal a priority and only memorized three verses. I figured out today that if I memorize 1-2 verses per day, I can still be done with James 1 and 2 by the end of March. I am going to start writing down what I am memorizing each day on index cards. I have been working from a copy of the entire book and my phone app so far.

Workout Three Days Each Week

This last week I only worked out only twice but for the rest of the month I met or exceeded my goal. I have my workouts planned for the last three days of the month as well. I am very happy about accomplishing this goal.

Minimize Spending In Key Areas

While I definitely reduced the total grocery spending this month, I do not believe I accomplished the heart of this goal. I spent more than I planned in getting a dress for our formal event last week. I found several items thrifting as well and got a couple things at a friend’s direct sales party this weekend. Each month I continue to become more consistent with budgeting and spending on purpose though, and I had a good increase in my income this month. I learned a lot just attempting this, and for that I am grateful.

Now it’s time to decide on goals for March.

I will continue to work on areas I have addressed in January and February such as working out consistently and improving spending using the cash envelope system for a couple of categories. I went back to my goals for my Finish Year and realized I am ready to focus on a couple of new things. One thing remains on my focus though…

Memorize James Chapters 1 and 2

I am determined not to give up on this. I do not want to settle for defeat here, so I am focusing on one to two new verses each day with the goal of finishing both by March 31st. Any and all prayers would be greatly appreciated!

Increase Monthly Income

I have a goal this year to average a certain amount of monthly income. I would like to reach 75% of that target in March. I have met some great new women in the area and have had fabulous appointments this last week. The biggest challenge here is the consistency of my efforts and that is the reason I am making it a focus this month. I plan to address different areas of my business through the month as well, including increasing the number of customers using my Facebook page.

Utilize My Family Binder

I had a control journal for years when I was using FlyLady’s system but it was more of a reference binder. Since I found Jen’s amazing blog last spring, I have been tweaking our family binder and am finally happy with most of it. I have slowly incorporated lots of my routines and information (including a goals section) into the notebook but I do not always follow those plans. This month I want to focus on using that binder to actually complete the tasks it is designed to help me do routinely. Some of the areas in particular I plan to focus on are:

  • Complete my weekly, monthly and quarterly cleaning tasks
  • Utilize my goals section to complete some unfinished projects
  • Read more intentionally to complete my goal of reading 24 books this year

So, there is an update on February and a look ahead to March. I should probably make “blogging regularly” a goal at this point, but hopefully that will happen too.

What have you accomplished in February? Any plans for March?

2012 Home Goals

It seems like everyone is talking non-stop about goals lately.

Oh wait, that’s just me.

I shared over New Year’s weekend some of the categories I set goals for each year, but I had not really considered having goals for my home since we became renters again last year. Today I want to change that and thank The Nester for making me think differently about the importance of the space where our family gathers.

Living Room

1. Light

This move brought us to the beautiful, and sometimes dreary, Pacific Northwest. On top of the weather challenges, we chose a home in a development where the houses are physically very close together. I mean, let’s-just-lean-out-of-a-window-to-borrow-that-cup-of-sugar-from-our-neighbor-close. That means our family room gets almost no natural sunlight. I want to incorporate more mirrors, routine window cleaning, and any other technique I can find to bring in more natural light.

2. Simplicity

This sounds vaguely like a resolution instead of a goal, so let me be more specific. While I would love to wake up every day with every flat surface in our home clear of papers and forgotten items, I live with actual humans, so that is unlikely. However, I would like to work in one room per month with the specific goal of decluttering and organizing. I want to spend less time on stuff and more time with people. This goal will be reached specifically when I find things to sell or donate. It will also be reached when I recognize systems that aren’t working and improve them. For instance, SkipperClanJr really isn’t using the desk in his room for more than junk storage, so it’s coming out this week. Over the weekend, I found bigger labels for our Christmas boxes so we can actually read what each one holds. Much better than the tiny tape labels my label maker generates.

3. Routines

While I’ve incorporated a weekly cleaning plan that I like, it doesn’t happen every single week. I also find there are deeper cleaning tasks that are not currently on my schedule. I would like to track these better so that the routines are in place before we become homeowners again {someday, not in the immediate future}. I think this is just another area of becoming a person who finishes and a living example of what Jesus meant when he said,

“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things”

Home Goals Party

What would you like to be different in your home this year?

Friends Like Family

Military life means sometimes you are the only parent home to make things happen. Through the years, we never would have survived those times without the friends who would literally drop anything to help us out.

Today military families aren’t the only ones who need this kind of support. Do you know a single mom or dad? Does your neighbor’s spouse travel often for work? Look for these people as you go through the holiday season and ask:

Can I pick up anything for you at the store?
Can I babysit for a bit so you can get your holiday shopping done?
Can you come over for dinner with us one night so you don’t have to cook?
Can I help you in some way so that you can take care of YOU?

Today I helped a friend whose husband is deployed. She has thanked me profusely since I agreed to help and since I took her home today. It was no trouble at all, in fact, it felt like a small payback for the countless times others have helped me in the same way.

#116-#119 Of One Thousand Gifts

Friends you can call day or night

Giving that feels a lot like receiving

Arriving early to an appointment so you get to chat

Saying thank you with actions, not just words

Budget Friendly Fall Decor

It was love at first sight when I saw this Goodbye House, Hello Home display on Pinterest.

 

This summer I found this great cabinet on Craigslist to house our media components and dvd collection. Moving with the military means all furniture needs to be able to be used in a variety of rooms, Skipperclan thinks this looks like a changing table. Now that I have that image in your head, let’s move on shall we?

This week I used some spray paint we already had on hand to makeover a $7 thrift store frame and collected a few cozy items from the rooms in the house. Here’s my new collection for the living room.

A few warm blankets, old hymnals, and autumn themed linens from Germany. Ultimately, I’d like to add a mirror to the frame and hang it above the cabinet since this room gets very little natural light. I’d love to add a lamp as the original display uses for the same reason. This was about using what I had and warming up the space on a zero budget.

Do you change things around with the seasons?

Ready, Aim, Organize Your Life

If you have ever worked to organize a space only to see it fall into disarray within days (or hours!), you know that organizing is an ongoing process. How would you like a tool to help that process seem more manageable? Ready, Aim, Organize wants to give you something to do just that!

Desk Calendar

The Organize Your Life 2012 Desk Calendar breaks organizing down into tasks that you can incorporate into your busy daily schedule. Here are some of my favorite features.

It is easy to keep in plain view. The calendar can be hung on a wall or propped into a standing position with the easel backing. At about 6 inches by 6 inches in size, it doesn’t take much space to keep handy.

It has a neutral color palette. The color scheme will fit in most decor styles and be pleasing to the eye. In a daily reminder system, you want a product that will grab your attention so you remember to act on it. However, no one wants a calendar that stands out so much it becomes the focal point of the room. This has just the right mix.

It combines weekend days into one sheet. Hopefully your schedule includes down time each week, whether you take a true Sabbath rest or family day. This calendar gives you one sheet each weekend so you can keep up the habit without feeling the need to sacrifice a drive in the country for organizing the coat closet.

It holds a mix of practical steps and encouraging thoughts. Some daily activities are as simple as making a call to cancel magazine subscriptions you don’t read. Others are reminders that you probably need to plan for less activity in the days immediately following the switch between Daylight Savings Time and standard time.

It functions as a calendar. While the focus is on a daily reminder to streamline and organize your life, the details you need to use this as a functional desktop calendar are beautifully designed. You can easily see the date, day and year. National holidays get a small note under the date.

It is easy to recycle. From the box and packaging, to the plastic stand, to the paper pages, I don’t see any element of this product that cannot be recycled. I also think that as you tear the pages off each day, you could easily drop them into a jar or box. The following year you could simply pull out one sheet per day and review that area’s functionality and level of organization.

It is well priced. Currently 13.99 at Calendars.com or TheTimeFactory.com and select stationary stores across the US, this would be a great gift for an office Christmas party or the family member whose name you drew for gift-giving. This breaks down to 4cents per day to become more organized – that seems very reasonable to me.

Now for the best part: giving one reader a copy of the calendar FREE!

Congratulations Jessica C.! We will be contacting you to get the calendar shipped to you!
(This contest is now closed)

  • Leave a comment here sharing how you think this tool would help you become more organized (required).
  • Follow SkipperClan on Facebook and leave a separate comment letting me know you do.
  • Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter, then leave a separate comment letting me know you did. Here’s an example: Win a 2012 Daily Organizing Calendar from SkipperClan and ReadyAimOrganize http://bit.ly/qaMYda
  • Visit Ready, Aim, Organize and sign up for their email newsletter, follow them on Facebook or Twitter and leave a separate comment here letting me know you did.

This contest is open until Thursday, October 6, 2011, at 10:00 pm PST. ONE winner will be selected at random and announced later that week. Open to US recipients only. Please read my full disclosure policy and contact me with any questions you might have. I received a complimentary calendar for review, however all opinions are my own!

 

 

 

Summer Goals – How Did You Do?

With the short, Northwest summer coming to an abrupt end this week, I know it is time to recognize summer’s end. What better way to do this than to check in on my Summer Goals?

Reading-I only managed three of the ten books on my Summer Reading List. I kept getting distracted by other books recommended to me, most of which were available free at the library or nearly-free for my Kindle.

I am currently reading To Live is Christ by Beth Moore as my devotional material, The E-Myth Revisited and Organized Simplicity (thank you Borders clearance sale).

SandDollar Beach

Beach Time-We definitely spent our fair share of weekend afternoons (books in hand) at the local State park soaking up the summer sunshine. Both my husband and I fell asleep one of those afternoons and I paid the price. I still look extra fair on my face compared to the rest of my upper body because I always have great skin care products on my face…oops! Here’s your friendly reminder to treat the decollete with the same products as your face.

Projects-Here are a list of projects I completed from the 52 Weeks Inspiration list.

Tent

Outdoor Adventures-We did not made it out to the San Juan area but we did manage a few other outdoor adventures. We went camping one night in July so KitKat was happy. We actually had a great time and I wonder if we will be going again this fall. It might be hard to squeeze it in to the schedule. SkipperClan took KitKat on a daytrip to Mt. Ranier on the motorcycle. They had a fabulous time and I did not pout too much that I was not going. SkipperClan also just finished an overnight trip on the bike around the Olympic Peninsula last week. He definitely met a couple interesting people. SkipperClanJr had several camping trips with Scouts, too.

Crafting-Okay, so this category pretty much did not happen. I did get my supplies in order though! I also ended up working on a photography challenge in August.

Visits With Friends-Friends did visit and we are so glad! We had a quick breakfast with a couple from Maryland in June, then one of my best friends came with her husband and son in August. We were able to incorporate seeing the Pike’s Place Market in Seattle while they were here.

Not only did we have the expected piano and tumbling lessons, along with Boy Scout activities…but KitKat made the dance team for the local high school. That added another camp to the summer schedule as well as tryouts and practices. We celebrate a couple of birthdays in this house each summer as well.

What did you do this summer that was part of your plan? What is the most memorable un-planned thing you did?

Life Planner

I love a great calendar but the dream planner always seemed to elude me. I have tried:
*Outlook
*my phone
*a monthly calendar at home
*a simple daily to do list
*free calendars from businesses
*90-day calendars designed for my sales business
*a simple spiral notebook
*week-at-a-glance
*monthly-view pages
There never seemed to be one that was just right.

Ever felt like Goldilocks when searching for an organizing tool?

Too big, too small…but never just right.

Here’s hoping that the gorgeous package gracing my front door a few days ago is exactly that: just right.

I love it when a company makes their packaging as fun as the goodies inside. Speaking of goodies…

Cards, labels and discount codes all included at no extra cost. Suuuuuhhhhweet! Those were fun, but I wanted to peel back the red tissue paper and decide if this Life Planner was going to be everything I’d dreamed.

Here are things I love about the ErinCondren.com Life Planner so far:

1. Tabs on Monthly View Pages-Not only are the tabs built into the design of this planner, but they are different colors. This means I can move quickly between months when scheduling appointments. I like having a month at a glance so I can easily see the big picture before making new commitments.

2. Large Daily Columns in the Weekly View Pages-I like a week at a glance view for more detail but still want to have room on each day’s view for to-do lists and notes. Many week-at-glance pages are too small for the detail I use. I can write plenty of detail such as names and phone numbers of clients or addresses for appointments. The weekly view includes a small monthly view as well, meaning I don’t need to flip back to the monthly view for dates.

3. Pages and Pages for Notes-There is not enough praise for this feature. I am already using these pages to track goals. They could be used for simple budgeting, journaling or meeting notes. These are placed with each month and more blank pages are in the back of the binder as well. The notes pages in the back have even more flexibility since they are unlined. Maybe you will create a collage for a home project or tape frequently used business cards. Speaking of the back of the planner…

4. Pocket Pages-There is a zippered pocket page for carrying small items. I like keeping a few postcards, business cards and stamps here. When I have to wait somewhere, I can jot a quick note to a client or team member. Business cards stay neat and professional. There is another pocket page as well. This is an open pocket where I can easily slip invitations, flyers or schedules until they are transferred to the pages of my planner.

5. Laminated Cover-Not only was I able to customize my cover with photos, but the exterior pages are laminated. If I had to pick one feature as my favoritest favorite, it would probably be that. I’m not promising I can pick one thing, but it’s definitely in my top three. Durability without an extra cover and easily cleaned: thank you very much!

6. Smart Design-Other features I love include the colorful and fun design, little circles by the to-do list areas for checkmarks and dates being filled in on all the blocks of the monthly page. For instance, this week the last day of the month falls on a Wednesday but I can easily see Saturday will be the 3rd without turning any pages. There are pages where you can note important dates for each month at one glance and a contact sheet for important numbers.

I got a great deal on this through Plum District that is now expired, but I already think this planner is worth the full price. The planner will go from the current month through the end of next year. Getting one now means you spend less than $4 per month to have everything you need in one place.

Do you have tools that make it fun to be organized?

Barstool Makeover

Ever finished a short, simple makeover and felt wildly successful? I had a few hiccups along the way, but I am very happy with the results of this project. This house has a built in bar and I had a terrible time finding seats tall enough to fit. When I got four of these on Craigslist for $40, I was a happy girl.

They are cute as-is, but very green and very geometric. Not really my style so I started thinking about recovering them and added them to my 52 Week List. Then my back went out and so did the idea of working on the project.

Until last week!

First, I took the seats off by removing four screws that held them in place.

Second, I cut the fabric into the squares you see below. However, you should definitely cut your fabric into circles so you won’t have edges that barely fit over the seat. I have had this fabric for-eh-ver and knew it would be perfect.

Third, I used our electric staple gun to adhere the new fabric right over the old fabric. If your fabric has a pattern that you want to face a certain direction, pay attention to where the holes are located for the seat to be attached to the frame.

Fourth, I had SkipperClanJr attach the seats back to the frame with the original screws…which gave me this beautiful finished product…

That just leaves one question: when will you come sit a spell?

Dream Home

It is almost impossible for me to imagine building a home and living in it for “the rest of our lives.” If we ever do, it will definitely have these.

1. Welcoming Front Porch

Source: None via Tammy on Pinterest

 

2. Comfy Seating

 

3. Central Hub

Source: kitchen-design-tips.com via Tammy on Pinterest

 

4. Tech Gadgets

Source: fastmac.com via Tammy on Pinterest

 

5. Clever Storage

Source: google.ca via Tammy on Pinterest

 

6. Practical Shortcuts

Source: re-nest.com via Tammy on Pinterest

 

7. Warm Spaces for Guests

Source: bhg.com via Tammy on Pinterest

 

8. Personal Retreat for Us

Source: houzz.com via Tammy on Pinterest

 

9. Indoor Rooms that Feel Outdoors

 

10. Outdoor Rooms that Feel Indoors

 

 

What is one thing you are grateful for in the house you currently live?

My New Pinterest

Journals, bulletin boards, torn out magazine pages…have you tried in the past to keep track of ideas and inspiration with these methods? While I love finding the ideas, I hate having more paper to organize and search through when I am ready to work on a project. Enter Pinterest.

You get an invitation to join this website and create your free account. It will install a shortcut to your toolbar that says “Pin It.” Anytime you see something online you want to refer back to, you just click that button. It allows you to choose which image from the site you want to use when pinning to your boards. You can create different boards for different categories. They function like individual files in a file drawer. Instead of just saving the picture though, it is saving a link back to the page you viewed it from: whether it is a recipe, design idea or something you want to purchase as a gift.

For instance, let’s say you want to remember to read the book I mentioned last week, How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World. You will just click on the button on your toolbar that says “Pin It” and you will see a pop-up window like this:

When you hover over the picture you want to use, you will see a bubble open that says “Pin This”:

When you have clicked on that blue bubble, you get to decide how much detail your “Pin” will have.

*What board will you use?
*How will you describe this image?
*Do you want to publish a link for this on Twitter or Facebook? (if you have those accounts linked)
*Who will you mention this to by including them @TheirPinterestName
*What tags do you want to include? #book #kindle
*How much does it cost? $9.99

Voila! You will have the image saved along with the link back to the site with the review!

But wait, there’s more!

You can view what others have posted to Pinterest, whether you follow them or not. The dessert I made for our 4th of July cookout was something I found on Pinterest. I have also organized a few things around the house like my daughter’s hair supplies…

I have boards for decorating ideas, gifts to give, recipes to try just to name a few. The hardest thing about Pinterest is getting off of the site long enough to give some of the ideas a try.

What system do you currently use to keep track of inspiration in your life? If you are on Pinterest will you leave a comment below? Feel free to leave a comment if you are interested in an invite too.